“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award

Open to writers worldwide

  Chief Judge Alexander McCall Smith

Chief Judge Alexander McCall Smith

First prize: £1000 Second prize £500 Third prize £250

Plus: Publication in our next anthology; a dedicated page on our website to promote your work and one year free membership of the Scottish Arts Club for main prize winners; signed copies of an Alexander McCall Smith book for all six finalists.

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition 2019 is open to writers worldwide, for stories on any topic up to 2000 words. First Prize £1000, Second Prize £500 and Third Prize £250.

Alexander McCall Smith will continue as chair of the judging panel and will select the prize-winners. Anyone familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s work will know that the historic Scottish Arts Club, situated in Rutland Square, often features in his popular 44 Scotland Street novels.  McCall Smith has been the chief judge of the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition since its inception in 2014. 

A team of dedicated readers assists the selection process. Alexander McCall Smith makes the final selection of the winner and other prizes.

Please note: You do not have to be Scottish to enter this competition

Isobel Lodge Award

Open to unpublished writers, born, living or studying in Scotland

  Isobel Lodge

Isobel Lodge

First prize: £500

The Isobel Lodge Award is open to unpublished writers born, living or studying in Scotland who enter the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition  in 2019.

A collection of Isobel Lodge’s stories, plays and poetry is now available in paperback or kindle formats with funds from sales supporting the Isobel Lodge Award. Read more…

ISOBEL LODGE ROSALKA.jpg

Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award

Open to writers worldwide

  Chief Judge Sandra Ireland

Chief Judge Sandra Ireland

First prize: £500

Plus: Publication in our next anthology; a dedicated page on our website to promote your work and one year free membership of the Scottish Arts Club for main prize winners;

After a very successful first year , the Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award will return in 2019, open to writers worldwide, published and unpublished, and for stories up to 250 words.  

Author Sandra Ireland is the chief judge for the flash fiction competition. Sandra is an award winning poet and accomplished author of 'Beneath the Skin' and the 2018’s 'Bone Deep' as well as the first winner of the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition.

Please note: You do not have to be Scottish to enter this competition

The Desperation Game and other stories

To celebrate five years of the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition, in 2019 we will publish an anthology of stories by all our finalists. The new book takes its title from our first competition winner by Sandra Ireland.

Our short story and flash fiction competitions are managed by the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust, with all proceeds used to support the arts in Scotland. We are a registered charity: Scottish Charity 044753 www.sacctrust.org

Results of the 2018 competitions

 WINNER Mara Buck,  Troph y

WINNER Mara Buck, Trophy

american WRITER, mara buck, wins the 2018 competition with her story, trophy.

The 2018 winner, Mara Buck, was unable to attend the Story Awards Dinner because she she lives deep in the Maine woods in the USA. We asked her about her writing and her story Trophy, she told us: “For a writer, every word is a choice but these choices can become a mire in themselves. A character’s life can hang on a precarious balance of those words. In my work, I stubbornly insist on adding still another layer to the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and genre—I implant moral dilemmas. I need to place the reader within the scene with the characters, smelling the autumnal breeze along with the odour of blood, hearing the birds and the sounds of physical abuse, watching the light fade from once vibrant dark eyes.

She says “I live now surrounded by woods like those in Trophy’and each year the wildlife becomes more scarce until last winter there were no deer tracks in the snow. As a child I walked these same woods with my own father, a kind man and never abusive, a hunter taking only what was necessary, always mindful. Like the writer, every hunter has a choice. 

She has had a number of stories, essays, and poems awarded and published through the years, but she says, ‘Trophy’, is a ‘child dear to her heart.”

 COMMENDATION Mary Fitzpatrick,  Murdo's Journey   WINNER: Isobel Lodge Award

COMMENDATION Mary Fitzpatrick, Murdo's Journey

WINNER: Isobel Lodge Award

mARY fITZPATRICK WINS THE 2018 ISOBEL LODGE AWARD

In addition to her commendation from Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Fitzpatrick won the £500 Isobel Lodge Award for her story ‘Murdo’s Journey’. When she was seven years old, Mary told us, her primary school teacher learned to manage her misbehaviour by putting her in a corner with a pencil and paper and letting her write. The lesson didn’t stick, however, and Mary completed secondary school without enough Highers to do very much. She worked in bars and restaurants, travelled a bit, volunteered on a kibbutz, but by the time she was 30 she knew something had to be done. After an access course, she got into Glasgow Uni, and eventually became an English teacher. Now that Mary is retired she writes as much as she can, entering competitions and sometimes having some success. She won The Lightship Memoir competition, and was a runner-up in the Fish memoir and Jane Austen short story competitions. She is also one of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers for 2018 and is currently working on a ‘fictionalised memoir’, provisionally called Green.

 WINNER: Christina Eagles, Full Circle

WINNER: Christina Eagles, Full Circle

Christina Eagles wins the inaugural Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award

Christina Eagles, winner of the £500 Edinburgh Flash Fiction Award with her story ‘Full Circle’ has been writing off and on for the last thirty years, while living in England’s Peak District.  She has written short stories with some competition success, and novels, though with no publisher as yet.  More recently, while continuing work on the latest novel, she has become increasingly drawn to the challenges of flash fiction. During the awards dinner we were treated to a magical reading by Christine of her flash fiction winner. Commenting on the story, chief judge Sandra Ireland said, ‘ Deceptively simple, the writing lulls us into a false sense of ‘cosiness’. It begins with children playing on the beach, and all the nostalgia invoked by such a scene. These young sisters are depicted so faithfully, I could identify with them. I almost recognised them, with their intense concentration and magical world-making. But all too soon the real world kicks in. Fast-forward to adulthood. The children are still there, but one generation removed. The passage of time is hard to pull off in such a tiny word-count, but it’s so seamlessly done here that the reader time- travels too, from childish concerns to grown-up heartache and all stunningly book-ended by the symbolism of the circle .’

OTHER COMMENDATIONS AND FINALISTS

 SHORT STORY COMMENDATION  Michael Callaghan,  The Poppy Season

SHORT STORY COMMENDATION Michael Callaghan, The Poppy Season

 FLASH FICTION COMMENDATION: Claire Fuller, Daffodils with apples

FLASH FICTION COMMENDATION: Claire Fuller, Daffodils with apples

 FLASH FICTION COMMENDATION: Debbie Taggio, Same Skin, Different Body

FLASH FICTION COMMENDATION: Debbie Taggio, Same Skin, Different Body

 SHORT STORY FINALIST Rachael Dunlop,  Game On

SHORT STORY FINALIST Rachael Dunlop, Game On

 SHORT STORY FINALIST: Kristi Wishart,  A story the span of your brow

SHORT STORY FINALIST: Kristi Wishart, A story the span of your brow

 SHORT STORY FINALIST: Colin Armstrong,  The Genuine Article

SHORT STORY FINALIST: Colin Armstrong, The Genuine Article

 SHORT STORY FINALIST: Emily Learmont,  Eleionomae, The River Nymph

SHORT STORY FINALIST: Emily Learmont, Eleionomae, The River Nymph

  Alexander McCall Smith presents Sandra Ireland with the 2014 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award for her brilliant story, The Desperation Game

Alexander McCall Smith presents Sandra Ireland with the 2014 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award for her brilliant story, The Desperation Game

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